New advert shows texting at wheel twice as unsafe as drink driving

That is the break down - and for drivers who got their license less than two years ago, the new rules mean if caught you will lose your license and have to start from scratch.

"For new or young drivers who have held their licence for less than two years and are caught for such an offence, this could result in you losing your licence", he said.

North Wales Police will be actively taking part with officers from the Roads Policing Unit carrying out dedicated patrols using marked and unmarked vehicles to target those flouting the law.

From today motorists using a phone while driving will receive six points on their licence and a £200 fine, twice the previous penalties.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling said: "Our message is simple and clear: do not get distracted by your mobile phone while driving. It is as inexcusable as drink driving".

New penalties for motorists using mobile phones while driving come into force on Wednesday (March 1).

People are twice as likely to be in a auto accident while texting compared to drink driving, according to the AA.

Around 3,600 motorists were handed penalties during a similar initiative last month.

The advert shows a woman texting as she drives her drunk partner home from a night club, prompting him to ask "Don't you think I should be driving?" "Don't text and drive".

In allowing them to continue driving, the courts are in effect telling them, you didn't kill or maim anybody this time - but you are free to go out there and try again.

Motoring groups believe a sharp decline in the number of offenders caught is partly due to police budget cuts affecting enforcement.

Lorry driver Tomasz Kroker was jailed for 10 years in October after killing a woman and three children by ploughing into their stationary auto on the A34 near Newbury, Berkshire, while distracted by his phone.

  • Salvatore Jensen